Wardlow details how his torn calf injury happened, working with microtears in his shoulder

Wardlow has been working through injuries and he deep dove into how his torn calf injury happened and keeping it a secret from AEW medical

Photo Courtesy: All Elite Wrestling

The microtears were fresh when Wardlow faced Jake Hager in their MMA-style bout.

Earlier this month, the reigning TNT Champion Wardlow shared that he competed in the first Blood & Guts match with a torn calf.

He was invited onto the Dynamite Download podcast to promote AEW Grand Slam on 9/21 and in this new interview, Wardlow detailed how that aforementioned injury occurred. He reiterated that he kept the injury hidden from AEW medical and the only people who found out beforehand were one of the members of FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler).

Wardlow said he was working out in preparation for Blood & Guts and was doing sprints until he heard a gunshot-like sound and knew something was off. He stated that his leg began to turn black and blue and he had to take care of it on his own because he did not want AEW medical to pull him from the match.

I’ve never taken a day off or time off for anything, injury or not. I had to take one week off, had to because I didn’t test positive for COVID. I actually tested negative but I was around somebody that tested positive so they wouldn’t let me come to TV one week. That’s the only time. I’ve never asked for a day off, I’ve never taken time off. But that’s not to say I haven’t experienced injuries. I wrestled Blood & Guts with a completely torn calf and got yelled at by Doc [Sampson] afterwards because it was so bad that he said it was very close to having to be cut open. Would’ve been a huge recovery.

So yeah, so it sucks because you think what could have been a little bit. Like if I could have been full-blown me in that match, it’s kind of scary to think but I tried to play it as safe as possible which if you look back, it probably wasn’t too safe but, here’s the thing man, Blood & Guts, huge. The first Blood & Guts in AEW, there was no chance in hell I was missing that… I don’t know if I’ve ever talked about this. So I was doing sprints in the gym and I was preparing for Blood & Guts. I was just like, I know this match is gonna go on for a while. I want my cardio to be nasty. So I’m doing sprints in the gym and I’m literally thinking about sh*t I’m gonna do to people in that cage. I’m like, I’m gonna f*ck sh*t up when I enter that cage and so I’m thinking about this in between the sprints to amp me up and I thought about what I’m gonna do to somebody and it got me so amped, I took off for the sprint and as soon as I took off, I think my second stride, it felt and sounded like a gunshot went off in the gym and I was like, ‘What the f*ck was that?’ And I stopped dead in my tracks. I was like, ‘Oh sh*t’ and my initial thought was it was my Achilles tendon and I was like, I’m f*cked, if that’s my Achilles tendon and I look back and I can move just enough to know it wasn’t that because you’re down and out if it’s your Achilles, right? But it was still really bad and it started to turn black and blue right away and that’s when I knew. I was like, ah sh*t. This is bad. So it was swelling and black and blue instantly so I knew it was bad and normally I would call Doc right away if I have an issue. It’s kind of a well known thing that I have a great relationship with Doc Sampson. I’m his son, he’s my dad so, work-son, work-dad. We have a great relationship and all the other trainers, all the other doctors, Bryce [Ready], he is my trainer so, normally I would call one of them and be like, ‘Hey, what do we do?’ But I was like, I feel like this is bad enough to where if I show them, they’re not gonna let me wrestle… But I was like, my cardio’s gonna be absolute dog sh*t now because it was like a week before. It was a week before and throughout the week, my leg got so disgusting, black and blue and large and the f*cked up thing is I didn’t know what to do and I couldn’t call them to be like, hey, do I ice it? Heat it? Wrap it? Not wrap it? Elevate it? F*ck. Bro, I’m Googling sh*t and I’m reading the worst stuff. Like oh man. So by the time the match happened, it was in really bad shape.

The only person — so I tried to walk as normal as possible obviously, the day before. So I was just trying to walk normal but I think I was walking with Dax [Harwood] maybe. It was either Cash [Wheeler] or Dax I was walking with and they called me out. They were like, ‘You’re limping a little bit.’ I was like, oh sh*t. I was like, ‘Pulled something a little bit in my calf.’ I’m like, ‘I’m all good though, I’m all good.’ So no, nobody really knew until after. So I put some K.T. tape on to try to cover it up and the funny thing… my action figure, it actually has my K.T. tape on it which I think is hysterical and it also has the wrist tape because Tully Blanchard taped my wrists before I went in… So, the great thing is adrenaline from a match of any kind is extremely, extremely powerful and you truly don’t know how powerful until you’ve been in a ring in front of a live crowd. So you add the fact that it’s two rings, a giant cage, Blood & Guts. Dude, I didn’t feel it. I didn’t feel it the whole match. The only time I did feel it was when f*cking [Jake] Hager jumped his big ass on me and I tried to pick him up and he just f*cking toppled on me. He was a big boy and my leg gave out but, I didn’t give up and I stood up with his big ass and I still f*cking tossed him or, I tossed him and got hit or I went to toss him and… I think I went to toss him and then I got hit by a steel chair.

There was no timetable laid out for when Wardlow developed the microtears in his shoulder, but said they were fresh when he competed against Jake Hager in their MMA fight in June 2021. He says the tears are in the front and back of his shoulders.

Still with injuries so, speaking of the Cage match [with Jake Hager], I did that with a torn shoulder. Okay, I’m not gonna say I have a fully blown out shoulder but I had a microtear in the front and a microtear in the back of my shoulder but that was fresh at that time.

At AEW Rampage Grand Slam, Wardlow is scheduled to team with ROH World Television Champion Samoa Joe to take on Tony Nese and Josh Woods.

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit the Dynamite Download podcast with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions. 

About Andrew Thompson 8800 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.